Back to Oisin Murphys Blog

Simple Verse set to star on a cracking weekend

29 Apr 2016

Tomorrow is the start of the Stobart Flat Jockeys’ Championship and the first Classic of the season and I couldn’t be more excited!

It’s been a long winter building up to it but there’s so many decent horses coming out now and I will be doing my best to get on as many good ones as possible. I just need to stay injury free and out of the stewards’ room.

Silvestre (de Sousa) rode five winners yesterday and he’s definitely the one to beat! He’s a great ambassador for the sport and I wouldn’t mind finishing second to him. I’m lucky to be getting loads of rides but Qatar Racing tend to have a smaller string of older horses and it could be the large band of two-year-olds that help propel me later in the season.

Andrea (Atzeni) has to be a big contender as well, being a lightweight jockey with plenty of opportunities, together with William (Buick) and James (Doyle) with their powerful backing. Don’t rule out Ryan (Moore), either!

Tomorrow’s card at Newmarket looks like being a cracker, with the undercard to the QIPCO 2000 Guineas being really strong.

I kick things off with Examiner in the opening Suffolk Stakes. He was third in the Cambridgeshire, winning the race on his side, looks on a workable mark and has a great chance. Stuart Williams tends to do really well with these older handicappers and at 20/1 I think he’s a very big price!

In the following Pearl Bloodstock Palace House Stakes it’s great to see the old favourite Sole Power back in action. He is going to get the strong pace that suits and will probably be hard to beat with Ryan (Moore) back on board. I get the leg-up on Take Cover for the second time and he has to rate as one of the main dangers. He can be a little headstrong but has loads of pace and is a pretty straightforward ride as he just bowls along.

I’m also really looking forward to getting back on Simple Verse in the Jockey Club Stakes. Ralph Beckett and the team have been very happy with her and she’s ready to go now. Jack Hobbs is a worthy favourite given his strong form last year, but it is also his first run of the year and we’re expecting a bold show from the filly.

In the QIPCO 2000 Guineas Air Force Blue looks the most likely winner – but I’m not sure he would want much more rain being by War Front.

Wet weather tonight would definitely bring Stormy Antarctic into it more and it will be interesting to see how Marcel gets on. I rode him on his debut at Ascot and I’ve never heard Peter Chapple-Hyam so bullish before a race. He was quite a weak two-year-old, though, despite going on to win the Racing Post Trophy and Peter is reportedly very pleased with how he’s developed.

In the fillies’ equivalent the one that I would want to be on is Minding for Aidan O’Brien. The ground will suit her and she’ll be fresh and ready to roll. The one that I would have reservations about is Lumiere and how much she’s trained on. She seemed impressive in her recent racecourse gallop but who knows what she beat.


Ralph Beckett-trained Oaks entry who will appreciate better ground and is in a maiden at Chester next week. She’s a very nice filly.